Snowstorms and hurricanes, thunderstorms and fog. Bad weather is by far the biggest source of flight delays in the United States, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. While you can’t control Mother Nature, smart planning can reduce your risk of having to sleep in a terminal. Try these six tips the next time a bad forecast is looming over your much-needed getaway.
Don’t stayed checked-out until it’s time to check in. Besides signing up for your airline’s flight alerts, there are several ways to know if you’re in danger of a delay. To get a current snapshot of what’s happening at your airports, visit the FAA’s Flight Delay Information page. It won’t provide the status of your specific flight, but it will tell you if, say, flights from LaGuardia to San Francisco are facing hours-long weather delays. Use apps such as FlightView or FlightRadar24 to see if your specific plane is running late from its previous assignment. Query Google with your flight number; its machine-learning algorithms have gotten especially good at combining data from multiple sources to predict delays before the airlines get in touch. And keep an eye on the forecast, of course. If any of these modes of recon give you pause, contact your airline immediately to get ahead of the pack.